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Customer Case Study

Mackay

Queensland

– Residential consumption is down 12% annually

– New water treatment plant which was slated for 2020, is now pushed back to 2032

 

Objective
Reduce water demand and postpone the costly new treatment plant.

Details
Mackay Regional Council was facing the challenge of rapid population increase on its’ demand for water. This required a significant investment in expanding its water capacity, which would also result in unpopular increases in water tariffs. 

Taggle started working with Mackay Regional Council (MRC) in 2010, when they decided that automatic meter reading and customer engagement could potentially reduce water demand and postpone the need for a new $100m water treatment plant.

Method
Mackay partnered with Taggle and developed the one-way communications devices; over the next two years trials were expanded gradually and together we built several iterations of the AMR devices. As a result Mackay made the decision to install Taggle devices on its entire meter fleet of 40,000+ meters. 

An integral component of the AMR project was the development of a meter data management (MDM) system, designed to collect and interpret the large quantity of data generated through the AMR network and to convert it into actionable insights. 

Prior to the installation of the AMR network, Mackay was generating approximately 80,000 meter reading records per year (40,000 meters x two meter reads per year). After the AMR installation, the comparative figure is 292 million meter read records per year (40,000 meters x 20 average meter reads per day x 365 days per year). Mackay now generates ten times more meter read records per day, than it previously did in a year. 

The MDM system, which was branded MiWater, has a number of functionalities built in, to enable a water utility to use the meter data for a range of activities and decisions. A key element of MiWater is the customer portal MyH20, which gives customers access to their detailed consumption information. Direct access to such information has transformed customer behaviour for the best. 

Results
During the last year, Mackay Regional Council, on average has been sending out around 1,500 leak notifications to its customers. The average duration of a leak has come down from over 150 days to around 60 days.

Average per capita residential consumption is down from around 240 litres per person per day (L/d) to around 210L/d, a reduction of just over 12 per cent.

The deferment of capital expenditure and the resulting savings in operational expenditure, has resulted in a notable reduction in the forward price path of both water and sewer tariffs. The most recent price path shows an average residential consumer in Mackay will pay approximately $400 per annum less for water by 2025.

The new water treatment plant, which in 2010 was slated for 2020, is now, as per the latest long-term financial plan, pushed back to 2032.

Mackay is further exploring the technology in-regards to sewer monitoring and weather stations.

Sensors include;
40,000+ Digital water meters
Sewer overflow sensors
Rain gauges
MiWater and MyH2O Portal